For Immediate Release: November 17, 2021
HERSHEY, Pa. – Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) has presented Bucks County Farm Bureau member Dr. Jim Diamond with the 2021 Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award during the farm organization’s 71st Annual Meeting in Hershey. The award is presented to an individual whose dedicated work and service has significantly contributed to the advancement of Pennsylvania agriculture.
“I was just elated, I was at a loss for words,” said Dr. Diamond, when told he had won. “I like the title of that award because it’s my contribution to agriculture – not just in Pennsylvania—but the whole world.”
Diamond, who was born and raised on his family’s beef farm in Fayette County, spent nearly 60 years teaching agriculture in Pennsylvania and around the world. Over his accomplished career, he was a vocational agriculture instructor at Upper Bucks County Area Vocational Technical School, an assistant professor of agricultural education at Penn State University, an international agricultural and extension education consultant for the United Nations, a Peace Corps volunteer, and from 1999 until 2008, he served as the Dean of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Delaware Valley University.
“Dr. Diamond has a true passion for teaching agriculture to students here in Pennsylvania, and to people around the world,” said PFB President Rick Ebert. “He is extremely knowledgeable and has a lifetime of experiences traveling the globe and preparing generations of farmers for their own careers in agriculture. With the Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award, we recognize the vast contributions Dr. Diamond has made on behalf of Pennsylvania farmers and the agricultural community.”
Throughout his teaching career, Jim was also a sheep farmer, and has held board positions with multiple agricultural associations, including Bucks County Farm Bureau.
In the early 1970s, Dr. Diamond spent two years with Peace Corps teaching farmers in Chad, Africa new and innovative farming techniques, including introducing a pit silage technique, which became an international program across African countries south of the Saharan Desert.
“My mission was to make sure they were successful,” he said.
Through his work with the United Nations, he spent seven years traveling abroad, teaching and discussing farm management strategies in China, Cuba, Bulgaria, Ethiopia, and other African countries.
“I have worked and traveled in 59 different nations on five continents,” he said. “I have put on programs for different people: Granges, churches, Farm Bureau annual meetings, sharing what I experienced overseas.”
Dr. Diamond has published multiple instructional booklets and materials, numerous journal articles, and seven “prose poetry” books documenting his travels and experiences.
“I hope and pray that somewhere along the way I’ve been able to help people help themselves. That will benefit humankind, not just now but in the future as well,” he said.
Hundreds of farmers from across the state attended Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s 71st Annual Meeting at the Hershey Lodge from November 15-17, to set policy for the statewide organization on issues affecting farm and rural families.
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.